An action research study exploring the effects of project-based learning on the engagement of high school spike students
PBLearn is a new project-based program designed to re-engage Grade 11 students in academic learning over one semester away from their home schools. This evaluative action research study monitored the impact on student engagement, content acquisition, and skill development, and helped identify the characteristics of students best-suited for the program. Data were gathered through surveys, interviews with students, parents, and teachers, as well as through observation and examining student records, and suggest a positive impact on learning engagement through increased participation stemming from exploration of student interests, challenge, and an inviting learning environment. Students with the desire to pursue a topic of interest, a growth mindset, and the ability to work independently appear best suited for the program. Learning gains occurred for: ELA, Career Exploration, various areas explored through project work, skill development with the 6 Cs, and personal skills.